The Detroit Tigers are moving towards a contract with closer Brian Wilson, as first reported by Lynn Henning of the Detroit News. Henning notes that Wilson and agent Dan Lozano met with Tigers manager Brad Ausmus in Los Angeles over the weekend, and that the sides are currently in serious negotiations.
Wilson, who turns 32 in March, is one of the best available relievers on the free agent market after posting a 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings of work with the Dodgers after signing with them in July. He has drawn interest from the Mariners, Rockies, Dodgers, Red Sox, Indians and Giants in addition to the Tigers this offseason, and is expected to command a high-value, one-year contract to fully re-establish himself as one of the best late-inning relievers in the game after having Tommy John surgery.
After struggling with Detroit in the postseason, relievers Jose Veras and Joaquin Benoit are currently free agents and are not expected to return to the Tigers. The team has expressed serious interest in free agent Joe Nathan to this point, and could also pursue available late-inning arms like Grant Balfour, Fernando Rodney or Edward Mujica. They now seem focused on landing Wilson, and the guarantee of the closer's job on a contending team could be enough to lure him out of California.
In eight major league seasons with the Giants (2006-2012) and Dodgers (2013), Wilson is the owner of a lifetime 3.10 ERA and 171 saves. His best season came in 2010, when his 1.81 ERA as San Francisco's closer helped lead the team to a World Series title.
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